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Ask HN: Is Sourcehut a good GitHub/Gitlab alternative?
47 points by AquiGorka 14 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 12 comments

I've been using it exclusively for months, and it's great. Fast server. Great features. But most importantly, good leadership whose incentives I feel align with mine.

I hate to be that guy, but have you given it a try?

No, I just learned about it today while reading a guide on putting together my own git server and wondered what the opinion was about it - they offer testimonials that make it sound wonderful but what landing page wouldn't do so.

I have been using SourceHut since the alpha went public. I think the hardest thing to adjust to is patchsets being sent over email. But when you think about it that is the way git is supposed to work. It keeps version control decentralized. Drew DeVault has also created a site git-email.io I believe to help new users with the process. He has also either implemented or is implementing a good web interface to sit on top of patchsets.

It is nice knowing that your data is actually protected and private because Drew is very public about his ideals.

One of the cooler features I think is the site runs without JavaScript entirely, unless you need to pay for the first time, which uses Stripe, but even then Drew allows for alternative methods of payments including walking up to him at FOSDEM and giving him a check.

The communication of the service to its users is actually really nice. You get monthly updates regarding development, and quarterly updates which I will are similar to like state of the union addresses, where Drew will talk about the financial situation in detail, including a line item receipt of expenses like new hardware and salaries. Drew used to put his own salary down, but since Simon Ser was hired to work for SourceHut, Drew has chosen to protect Simon's salary and reports salary payouts in totality.

The performance is also a big bonus. Consistently you will find that SourceHut just outperforms GitHub and GitLab on SSH operations. Now this might have a lot to do with the amount of users who use the site, but if you watch the dev mailing list, performance is a top priority. And it is funny watching Drew complain about Python on Mastodon every once in a while.

As far as self-hosting, the documentation seems fairly straightforward. You can pick and choose the services you want, so unlike other options where its all or nothing you can cater to your needs. You can also just move to SourceHut incrementally. Some projects use lists.sr.ht but keep code elsewhere. Some use git.sr.ht, but run CI on Travis. Some use the github.com, but use builds.sr.ht. Any combination is possible.

I definitely recommend using the service. Later this year the service will be in beta, and there are some good features coming right around the corner including names.sr.ht and hub.sr.ht.

Important note that at least during the alpha you can use the entire site for free. Pricing is a pay what you want scale (for sr.ht, there are 3 options), but you get all the features.

Thank you very much for the rundown of features and your description of the service, I was interested but after reading your comment I'm definitely gonna try it out.

You should give it a try.

When comparing it to Git{Hub,Lab}, it misses an issue board, pull requests and many other features in favor of different approaches. It might feel limited because of it.

That being said, it's brilliantly clean, simple and fast.

For just hosing a repo online it's perfect.

Technically it has an issue tracker, just not tied directly to a repository: https://todo.sr.ht

I kind of like the "federated" nature of sr.ht's offerings though. If I don't want an issue tracker for a repository, I don't have something sitting on the repo page by default.

I like that too, but it's worth noting that Github (not sure about lab) allows you to disable these features (wiki, issues, etc.) with a checkbox on the repo's settings page.

Very true. I guess it comes down to if you prefer "on by default" or "off by default".

I find it is. A very good alternative. Cleaner and simpler interface than github.

Notice that it is also a much better travis. The fact that build jobs are not necessarily matched with repos is a very liberating experience.

I switched to it recently as a refugee from Bitbucket since it supports Mercurial. No complaints so far, though admittedly my needs are pretty simple (just a few private repos).

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